If the Premier League season doesn’t finish at all this year, each club could have to repay £20m they have been given already for the final quarter for TV rights.
And if the season is not finished, then the merit payments based on league positions, in Arsenal’s case around the mid-twenties based on their current position, may not be forthcoming.
Arsenal are lucky that they are in the upper echelons – but relatively worse off in that the top 20 clubs in Deloitte’s Football Money League, they are the most reliant on match-day income. Match day income made up around 25 per cent of their revenue last season at £96.2m.
The news of the Premier League suspension came on top of already negative financial news after Arsenal were knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiakos – a tournament which brought the club £40m last season. Estimates are that the loss cost them potentially over £11.4m.
There can now be only a maximum of six home games at the Emirates FA Cup and Europa League – but season ticket holders are entitled to seven matches, meaning a potential pay out to regulars of £4.5m.
If the remaining home Premier League games aren’t played, it could represent a further substantial hit. All these mount up.
And all of which comes on the back of poor financial results. Arsenal showed a total loss after tax of £27.1m, and an increase in their wage bill to May 31, 2019. This followed a profit of £56.5million in the previous year, which was largely driven by player sales. Total staff costs excluding exceptionals rose £8.4m to £231.7m.
On the positive side there will be increased commercial revenues from Adidas and a renewed Emirates deal. Also, there is a huge amount of cash at the Premier League level, and it would be easy to envisage a collective fund to help the clubs. And Arsenal reported a healthy balance sheet cash reserve of £160m in the 2019 annual accounts – which is some sort of buffer.